I ate an apple yesterday. Now that may not seem like a big deal or something worth writing about however, this was not your ordinary experience.
It could have been ordinary and it would have been ordinary if I had just eaten the apple in between rushing around doing other things and being focused on anything but the apple. But this was not the case.
You see I have just come off an extended period of eating well (well too much, too often and too off the clean eating path). It all started before Christmas when I catered an art fundraiser. This meant preparing countless tasty treats for people to enjoy. In preparing the menu I attended to the quality of the food: good wholesome ingredients; nothing processed or very processed and just good food. It was good but it did include a number of things that I often avoid: cream cheese; cheese; bread and other tasty treats. Now when I am catering I rarely eat very much at all but it was the exposure to these good things and the leftovers that could not be returned to the store that got me. They got me going in that direction of tasty but maybe not so clean treats and maybe just a few too many too often.
Then came Christmas! I am not sure I need to bore you with the details when most of you are well aware of the eating activities associated with Christmas, New Years and the days in between. Suffice to say there was lots of food, many more times a day then was necessary for the healthy functioning of the body and with all that time spent eating it was difficult to find time for the exercise that would normally nicely fit into my days.
Most years eating more than required over the holiday season is over by the first of January but not in my case. Our Christmas celebrating was extended with a treasured visit from my daughter and her beau. They who live overseas and Christmas with them was celebrated in January. We had a wonderful and delicious time! We tried to eat healthy stuff but nonetheless we ate too much and too often.
This collection of feasting was the impetus for my marvellous experience with the apple yesterday. Now that the partying was over I had thought long and hard about what I would be putting into my body over the next while. Even though we had had apples in the house while all the feasting was going on they were outside my perception, but not so yesterday.
I looked at the apple in the fruit basket and marvelled at its beauty. It looked so fresh and delicious it made me wonder why I had not thought to eat one for the last several weeks. I remembered the popular saying: “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” and recalled some of the facts that I know about apples that make that saying true: eating fruits and veggies reduces our cancer risk; apples are full of antioxidants that help us fight disease; the fibre of an apple helps with digestion and also helps to lower cholesterol and eating an apple helps to keep our teeth healthy. I was curious about other benefits of eating an apple and found that there is evidence that eating apples can: reduce the effects of aging on the brain and thus reduce our risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease; that apples help to stop or slow the breakdown of the brain’s dopamine-producing nerve cells thus protecting us from neurological disease such as Parkinson’s; they boost your immune system & detox the liver; they help to control weight and the negative impacts of other diseases or disorders such as diabetes, heart disease, gallstones, cataracts and problems with diarrhea, constipation, haemorrhoids, and irritable bowel syndrome are all reduced by eating apples[i].
Wow and I was only focused on how good that apple would taste. I washed the apple with care and thought about the fact that it was grown right here in British Columbia where many varieties of delicious apples are grown. I cut it up carefully leaving the skin on to get the full benefit of the apple. I had heard somewhere that some of the most beneficial elements of the apple lie just beneath the skin and the skin is such good fibre.
The luscious sections of the apple looked delectable, like a work of art on the pretty little plate. Pretty enough to take a picture.
I took a few minutes just to sit with my apple and truly enjoy it. No reading while eating, no rushing around doing the laundry and other tasks, just sitting and eating the apple. The first bite was like a little bit of heaven in my mouth, so sweet and juicy, so natural in its deliciousness. I thought about how such an apparently simple thing, an apple, could taste so good, could be such a great treat! I also thought about how good the apple was for my body. It made me smile.
I felt totally absorbed in the action of eating the apple and perfectly satiated when it was all gone. I didn’t look for anything else to eat for several hours. This was good!
I look forward to my next apple eating experience. Given the pleasure I experienced yesterday perhaps I will stand by the saying “an apple a day”.
Irene McDermott © 2012